Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Funny: when you fall ill with some mystery virus that keeps you restrained to the couch (or even the floor, depending on how far I have to walk), you find time to watch some TV. When I say TV, I mean Netflix. I’m not suggesting the following nine programs are critically acclaimed or that they’ll soon be winning Golden Globes, but shut up, these are my favorites and NEVER QUESTION A SICK PERSON.

1. Salem


Witches! Sexy witches!! Takes place in the heat of the Salem witch trials, and it’s one of those shows where you’re not sure if you like the good guys or bad guys more. And who is a good guy / bad guy anyway? There’s only one season out right now, but that means you can finish it fast and be prepared for season two.

2. Ripper Street


Dark. British. Takes place just after Jack the Ripper finished terrorizing London. The three lead actors are charismatic, sexy, and comical in their own sick, twisted ways. I’m particularly fond of the American, Jackson (yum). Each episode is another mystery, but don’t skip around, as character development is really just as intriguing as the murders themselves.

3. Twin Peaks


I realize I’m horribly late to the game. This show (a cult classic) only had two seasons back in the early nineties. It’s quirky, scary, and rank with melodrama and bad 90s music. I adore wacko FBI agent Dale Cooper, and you even get to see David Duchovny in drag. Who killed Laura Palmer?

4. Archer


Reprehensible, inappropriate, and politically incorrect: all things I strive to be in life. An animated gem, this FX original will keep you laughing … and laughing … and quoting lines until your stomach hurts. Plus, the super sexy voice of H. Jon Benjamin fits super sleuth Archer perfectly.

5. Sirens


Follow a ragtag brigade of EMTs around Chicago. Really, it’s the dialogue that makes this show, as well as the super gay sidekick. Jake and I binge-watched this beauty, because laughter is the best medicine.

6. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries


A friend of mine said Miss Fisher reminded her of me, which is a huge compliment, considering this roaring 20s female PI is hot, fashionable, fiery, and irresistible. Follow her as she solves crimes and slowly falls in love with gorgeous Aussie detective Jack Robinson. Love the clothes!

7. Doctor Who


I’m talking mostly about the Matt Smith years. Doctor Who is a consummate sci-fi classic, but Matt Smith nails the character of the doctor. It doesn’t hurt that he’s handsome and funny. As The Doctor travels through time and space, he always has a grin and a quippy comment. He’s fascinated by all things new and dangerous; I’d like to be more like him.

8. Sherlock


Benedict Cumberbatch. Benedict Cumberbatch. Cumberbatch in a tight purple button-down. Cumberbatch with black, curly hair. Mmmm, yeah, I’m shallow, but really this revamp of the Sherlock Holmes story is modern and well-written … although you might need subtitles, because Sherlock talks fast, like a giraffe on cocaine.

9. The IT Crowd


I’m not a computer nerd, and yet, I love this show about computer nerds. It’s the British humor: over the top, physical, but never gross or crude. The three lead actors make the show. Think Seinfeld on a different continent and with accents. I almost cried when I watched the last episode, simply because there were no more.

462993820

When news broke Saturday morning that my “boyfriend” Benedict Cumberbatch was having a secret wedding on the Isle of Wight in England, I texted people as if I was the one getting married. Then, I scoured the internet and waited for some sneak peaks of the ceremony.

Imagine my disappointment when there were none.

Believe me when I say I quite literally know what’s happening in this man’s life before he does. I have never, ever delved so deeply into celebrity worship in my life. This is due to the aforementioned internet: sites like Facebook, Twitter, and the most efficient celebrity stalking site, Tumblr.

Since the start of my Bed-Addiction, I have felt no guilt mooning over photos of him at airports or caught out on the town with friends. Then, when there were no photos of him in a tuxedo Saturday, I felt irritable, cheated. I felt like Benedict Cumberbatch owed me something.

I recently interviewed British author Nick Hornby for work. A charming man with an Alan Rickman voice, he’s spent a lot of time working the Hollywood scene. I asked him if he thought we made celebrities into gods, and he said, yes, of course we do, which sets us up for disappointment.

As he told me at SheKnows.com, “I think we don’t actually have a fantasy about meeting somebody; we have a fantasy that that person will become our friend. All it will take is a handshake, and you’ll end up going on holiday together.”

Therein lies the problem; I’ve started viewing Benedict as my friend, and of course he owes me a wedding photo. Isn’t that CREEPY?

My oddball realization begs the question: What do celebrities owe their fans? Adversely, what do fans owe celebrities?

There are celebrity attention whores like the Kardashians who share everything (literally). There are charming celebrities like Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki of Supernatural fame, who make me laugh with their Twitter feeds. Then, there are celebrities like Benedict who aren’t on any social media and who keep their private lives private.

As a celebrity with a psychotic fan base, I’m sure Benedict is aware fans linger on his every word and discuss every outfit he wears ad infinitum. I’m sure he knows we want to see a picture from his wedding, but he has kept careful watch over his now wife, Sophie Hunter, probably because he knows he’s a hunted man. The couple is due to have a baby this year, too, but I’m sure we’ll never see it.

Should this upset we, the Cumber Collective? It does upset me, but it shouldn’t.

To be honest, celebrities owe us nothing. And if we are true fans, we owe celebrities respect. Sure, they might walk red carpets at gala events. They might buy 10.8 million dollar houses (ahem, Benedict), but how soon we forget: they’re just people. They wake up with bed head. They have morning breath. They go grocery shopping and have messy kitchens.

Celebrities are not gods. (Most of them only look like gods because of Photoshop anyway.) They are just human beings doing a job, no matter what TMZ tells you.

The Art of Love

Saturday, I MC’ed an event for Gina’s Team called “The Art of Love” at Cup O’ Karma in Mesa. It was a fundraiser where we featured musicians, spoken word poets, roses, hand-painted coffee mugs, and inmate art. Even I sang a couple sets.

Needless to say, I was terrified. Let’s face it: generalized anxiety disorder feels like heartburn in your brain. I’d already give myself permission to consume a vodka martini post-event, but first, I had to make it through the event.

Once things got rolling, I found a rhythm, assisted greatly by the likes of emotive piano player Nate Rosswog, sexy chanteuse Tiffany Brown, and Gina’s Team co-founder Sue Ellen Allen. Ex-inmate Sandi Starr and one of the phenomenal Gina’s Team interns, Samantha, brought us practically to tears with their witnesses on how the organization saved them both.

me-and-russWe kept on rolling with kingpin poet Tristan Marshell, gravel-voiced god Jon Rodis, and Rasheda Poe, who translates pain perfectly into poem. It was a relief for me when I got to sing two sets—one with jazz prodigy Jesse Sumter; the other with my gifted, spirited guitarist, Russell Braman—because I could just shut up and sing, wrap myself in lyrics like warm ocean waves.

The ever-glamorous wordsmith Emily Cimino reminded us that love ain’t always pretty. Then came the cast from Four Chambers Press, Jared Duran and Jia Oak Baker, who made us laugh and consider what love is all about (even if it involves Costco). We closed the afternoon with Teneia: a melodious married duo that had us dancing in our seats.

But let me be honest: all my artists, my volunteers, were not the highlight of the day. A small busload of teen girls from Mingus Mountain Academy came for the show, as well, and a certain girl (let’s call her Mary) who I’ve connected with in the past sought me out because she needed to talk.

We headed to the alley behind Cup O’ Karma, and Mary admitted she’s been barely able to cope with her depression. She’s been having nightmares. She wants to isolate herself from everyone. She’s scared she’ll never feel okay again.

A strange epiphany: Mary and I have been experiencing the exact same emotions, she in Prescott, me in Phoenix, for months. Divided by miles; connected by despair—connected by “The Art of Love” event this past Saturday.

I told Mary I didn’t have the answers, because if I did, I would have remembered how to eat by now, how to get out of bed in the morning, how to smile at good news. I told her that the only way I make it through the day is one step at a time: one hour of one day of one week … I told her, “Just make it through this hour and the hour after that and the hour after that.” She seemed relieved. We hugged a half dozen times before she had to leave.

I wondered later, while surrounded by Gina’s Team supporters, if I’d done enough. I always wonder if I’m doing enough. Then, I remembered, we do what we can for who we can when we can.

That’s what Saturday was about. That’s what Gina’s Team is about. That’s why all my musicians and artists agreed to do an event for free for a good cause—no, a great cause. Like Sue Ellen says, “Been there, done that; now, how can I help?” I’ve been in love; I’ve been broken by love; I’ve cut myself until I bled.

If not for our own experiences—the good, the bad, the ugly—we couldn’t help other people. And because we survived those experiences, we can give back, hence Saturday’s “Art of Love.” What can you do today? (If you’re moved to do so, donate to Gina’s Team.)

art-of-love1

art-of-love2

12430434785_9529cfe471_o

Last Monday, I received five rejection letters for five different short stories. Did that hurt? Worse than a bikini wax. Last Monday was the kind of day where all I felt capable of doing was banging my head against my desk until, thankfully, I lost consciousness and woke up Tuesday.

Thursday, I got two different emails. The first came at 10:02 AM from the Maricopa Community Colleges District Writing Competition to inform me: “We received the judges’ results, and we are proud to share that you were selected as the 2nd Place Winner in the Essay category! Congratulations!”

At 10:25 AM, I received the following email from the Maricopa Community Colleges District Writing Competition: “We received the judges’ results, and we are proud to share that you were selected as the 2nd Place Winner in the Fiction category! Congratulations!”

Let me tell you a story.

In regards to the Essay category, I won for a piece of flash fiction entitled “Dead of Winter” that I previously read the day after my grandma died at a poetry slam. I will not be modest; I kicked the shit out of that poetry slam. I basically slit my wrist in front of over a hundred people and said, “Look! This is my blood! Drink it in!” I thought I would at least place in the contest; I didn’t, and I left frustrated, disillusioned, and oh, yeah, my grandma was dead.

In regards to the Fiction category (an avant garde second-person story called “A Man of Light and Scales”), it was among the five rejected pieces of the aforementioned dreaded Monday. Now, it is the 2nd place winner in a huge competition.

It’s too obvious for me to state the obvious, but here goes: artistic preference is completely subjective.

I learned this on a more practical level when we sold our house last year. Every time we had a showing, I cleaned the entire 2800 square foot monstrosity. I lit candles. I baked cookies, and I don’t effing bake. Still, no offers. For months, no offers, and it was like a lightning bolt exploded in my brain: “OH! It’s not about me or my house. It’s about what someone else prefers.”

It has taken me thirty-two years to become comfortable with rejection. Does it suck to be rejected? Yeah. I sent out a short story today, for instance, and the editor set some kind of record with an immediate response of “Not for me.” Talk about efficiency! But “not for me” is key. Rejection doesn’t mean I suck. It doesn’t mean my work sucks. It means my work is “not for you,” which is fine because it is “for me.”

In a recent interview about my newly published short story FOREVER DEAD, I admitted: “I write for myself. I write stories that either exorcise my personal demons (of which there are many) or stories that turn me on.” I’m becoming more and more unapologetic about not fulfilling your needs. I write to fix myself.

As the last week has proved, all art requires the right audience. I am rejected; I am embraced. That is life. Stop taking it so personally. Or, as my friend Tiffany Brown reminds me, “Whisky, rinse, write, repeat.”

Photo credit: bajingan bermoral / Flickr

4161037477_a987296e2c_b

Yesterday, I participated in the Gina’s Team monthly road trip to Mingus Mountain Academy in Prescott, a safe haven for troubled girls. The girls know me by now. I’m the depressed poet who sings. I didn’t do much speaking yesterday, but apparently, it was enough, as I admitted to over a hundred girls that I almost didn’t make the trip because my depression had me slugging through the mud of early morning life.

Before I left, a small, spindly girl with pink hair came up and handed me a note. She said, “I want you to have this.” In her note, she told me of her own struggles with depression, anxiety, cutting, and worse. On the back was a poem.

Into the Darkness

I reach out into the darkness, grabbing, opening and closing my hand. I can feel it brush against my fingertips. It’s cold, so cold. I reach forward impossibly closer and clamp my right hand around it. My back rests against the cold and damp floor. I stare up with my tear-stained face. My eyes hurt, they ache, and they leave me with a migraine.

I slowly pull my arm closer to my body. I rest my hand against my opposite arm. The cold metal makes me shiver. My heart pounds and my breath stops short in my throat as I drag my hand across my left wrist. I paint my arm in dark red. Eventually, my hand falls into a routine of back and forth movement.

My eyes start feeling heavy, my head starts to spin, my stomach clenches, my chest aches, and my arm tingles. I start to take shorter breaths, gasping almost. I close my eyes and suddenly feel a sort of relief.

The pain in my chest stops. I don’t feel like I’m spinning in circles anymore. The urge to throw up is gone, and now my whole body is slowly starting to become numb. I can feel myself letting of of everything, once again reaching out into the darkness.

This is a young girl who understands cutting, how physical pain is so much better than emotional. She told me yesterday that I was such a help to her, but I need to tell her when I go back to Mingus in February: “Little girl, you help me.”

Those of us who suffer from depression often feel closed off, alone in the world, like no one could possibly understand. This little girl understands. She is not alone; I am not alone. There is hope and love and, if we’re lucky, joy.

When Gina’s Team travels to Prescott, we might think we’re helping those girls, and we are, by letting them know that things can get better: that life doesn’t end at eighteen. But I hope they understand they also help me. The little girls are the heroes, and I am the damsel in distress. Together, we commiserate, cry, and share poems; together, we heal and bring light to the darkness.

I’ll always remember the little girl with the pink hair. I hope she remembers me, too.

Photo credit: Samantha Nina / Flickr

Forever-Dead

Zach Mede, the brilliant detective and famous vampire hunter, had to know I could smell his blood from ten miles away, even if we hadn’t seen each other in two years. He was holed up in a shitty motel, the kind traveling detectives stay in when on a case in a city like New York.

I broke in no problem and found him standing, broad shoulders curled over a cheap desk covered in papers and photos of blood-speckled corpses. He didn’t hear me come in, so I knew the case was big shit, his mind on autopilot. He didn’t even know I was there until I had my hand around his throat and my nose in his hair. Large muscles tensed in my embrace, and I saw him eye the big, fuck-you silver knife on the edge of the desk.

“Did you think I wouldn’t find you?”

***

Stories always find me. They’re like ghosts that hover above a seance. They’re voices in the mind of a schizophrenic. Plot twists beg to be woven. Characters beg to be shared, but rarely do I come across someone as loud and demanding as Dario: a three-hundred-year-old vampire who accidentally falls in love with vampire hunter Zach Mede. So what do you do in a relationship when one of you is bound to die at the hands of a murderer? Well …

FOREVER DEAD is my newest independent project, not published by a magazine or literary journal. I went my own way this time and published on Amazon. As of today, FOREVER DEAD is available for eBook purchase, and I can’t wait to hear what you think.

Don’t waste a moment. Go shopping. Read something weird, sexy, noir. Escape the mundane and embrace very rational fear and bed-breaking sex.

The cover art was lovingly created by genius of all things Turner G. Davis, and I dedicate this short story to all the gay men I’ve loved (and still do) and vampires (even though Scully says they don’t exist).

Once you’ve read, be sure to review on Amazon and Goodreads and, obviously, tell your friends how Sara Dobie Bauer knows how to rock your dark, lusty heart.

<<<<<<< BUY FOREVER DEAD HERE. >>>>>>>

Photo by George Lindley.

Photo by George Lindley.

THE IMITATION GAME

SPOILERS: If you don’t know the story of Alan Turing and want to remain completely in the dark in regards to the plot of The Imitation Game, probably don’t read this.

As a dedicated Cumberbitch, of course I had to see The Imitation Game, in which my boyfriend Benedict Cumberbatch portrays genius and father of the modern computer Alan Turing.

Turing was a British mathematician, cryptographer, and marathon runner who helped break the Nazi Enigma code to bring an early cessation to World War II. The machine he used to break the code, “Christopher,” is the precursor to technology we use everyday, whether it be a computer or smart phone.

Post-war, Turing was found guilty of gross indecency, due to his homosexuality (a crime at the time) and sentenced to two years chemical castration through oestrogen injections in order to dissolve his libido. Due perhaps to the effects of the oestrogen, he killed himself at the age of forty-one.

Turing was never ashamed of his sexuality. He died a genius and a homosexual who has since been recognized for his accomplishments and for the unfortunate turn his life took as a gay male in the super paranoid 1950s.

The film, Imitation Game, follows Turing’s entire life through flashes into his past at boarding school, his present at Bletchley Park during World War II, and into his sad, horrible future, during the process of his chemical castration when he seemed ready to lose his mind.

Cumberbatch was ideally cast in the role of this awkward genius. He brings comedy, heart, and charisma to a man whose own mother called him “an odd duck.” The supporting cast is similarly enthralling, led by Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode (and a truly heart-wrenching portrayal by lesser-known Matthew Beard).

Screenwriter Graham Moore deserves every award possible for his flawless movement through time, choosing the moments in Alan’s life that shaped him the most. And I’d be remiss to not mention director Morten Tyldum, who guided and shaped the film into an emotional rollercoaster of joy, tragedy, and rage.

Cumberbatch has admitted he did not leave filming unscathed. During one scene, for instance, he had to portray Turing having an emotional breakdown. Surprise, surprise, Cumberbatch actually had a breakdown and couldn’t finish the scene.

director-morten-tyldum-narrates-620x400He told the Los Angeles Daily News, “I just got completely lost in his tragedy. I tried to pace myself for the scene, but I could not stop crying. I could not stop keening for this guy who was wronged. It disgusted and profoundly upset me.” As an audience member, I felt the same about Turing’s fate.

The film is brilliant in execution. The performances are spot-on. More than that, though, The Imitation Game informs people of what happened to Alan Turing and what happened to so many men like him in the first half of the twentieth century.

Gay men were once the drug dealers of today. They were persecuted and imprisoned for their “crime” (sexual preference). Can you image that happening now? No, but that doesn’t mean we’re in any way out of the woods where gay rights are concerned.

A dear friend of mine was recently attacked via an online discussion board at her college. Fellow students found out she was gay and offered to help her. They wanted to take her someplace where she could be “healed.” They wanted her to know she could be fixed, but as I told her, “Honey, you can’t fix stupid.” We still live surrounded by ignorance, and no matter how well intentioned, my friend’s fellow students really hurt her feelings.

Steps have been taken to stop discrimination against gays. Gay marriage is being allowed in more and more states around the country. We’re certainly not putting people away for sodomy anymore. (Half the straight population would probably be behind bars, too.) But there is still a long way to go for more than just gays—for the rights of all races, sexes, and creeds.

The Imitation Game is really about choices: choose who you love, choose who you save, and choose who you want to be. Finally, choose to accept the way you were born.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 127 other followers

%d bloggers like this: